Film series begins Monday—seats still available! (Note schedule change below)

Intruder_in_the_Dust_WebFollowing on the success of “What Would You Do? Ethical Dilemmas in Great Films,” Best Video and Temple Beth Sholom have teamed up again to present “Can We All Get Along?* Culture Clash in Great Films.” Unlike the first series, which unfolded in monthly screenings, “Can We All Get Along?” will present films every Monday evening from July 22 through August 26. Rabbi Scolnic will present and lead the discussions for three of the six films. Best Video staffers Rob Harmon and Michael Wheatley will split the presenting honors for the other three movies.

 
PLEASE NOTE THIS SCHEDULE CHANGE: Because of a death in Rabbi Scolnic’s family, we are switching the scheduling of the first two films. “Arranged,” originally scheduled to be shown this coming Monday, July 22, with Rabbi Scolnic presenting, will instead be shown the following Monday evening. This Monday we will present the 1949 film “Intruder in the Dust.” Best Video staffer Rob Harmon will present this powerful drama dealing with segregation-era race relations in the American South.

Reservations are strongly suggested. Many of the screenings in the original series were sold out. The cost is $25 for the entire series or $5 per film. All the events begin at 7 PM.

This is the schedule:

• July 22: INTRUDER IN THE DUST (1949, USA) Presenter: Rob Harmon (rescheduled from July 29)

In a small Mississippi town a proud black landowner is accused of shooting a white man in the back and brought to the town jail, where the lynch mob begins to gather.  Unrepentant about his actions Lucas Beauchamp’s (Juano Hernandez) only chance of survival may lie in the hands of two teenage boys and an elderly woman – seemingly the only people in town capable of seeing the situation clearly!  Ably adapted from the William Faulkner novel by Ben Maddow (The Asphalt Jungle, Men in War) and directed in a socially-conscious manner by Hollywood stalwart Clarence Brown (Flesh and the Devil, The Human Comedy, National Velvet, The Yearling).  The film also stars David Brian, Claude Jarman Jr., Elizabeth Patterson, Porter Hall, and Will Geer.

• July 29: ARRANGED (2007, USA) Presenter: Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic (rescheduled from July 22)

This independent film made in 2007, centers on the relationship between an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim woman. Both are first time teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. They form an unlikely friendship that changes their lives. The film is in English.

• August 5: ONLY HUMAN (2004, Spain) Presenter: Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic

In this madcap farce set in Madrid, a Jewish girl, Leni, bring home her boyfriend to meet her family. There is just one problem: She hasn’t told them Rafi is a Palestinian. In Spanish with English subtitles, the movie mines comedic gold from the culture clashes provoked by Leni’s interfaith relationship, a disappearing body and an amorous, belly-dancing sister.

• August 12: CRASH (2004, USA) Presenter: Michael Wheatley

Diving headlong into the diverse melting pot of post-9/11 LA, this compelling urban drama—and Oscar winner—tracks the volatile intersections of a multi-ethnic cast, examining fear and bigotry from multiple perspectives as characters careen in and out of one another’s lives. No one is safe in the battle zones of racial strife. And no one is immune to the simmering rage that sparks violence – and changes lives.

• August 19: THE WAR WITHIN (2005, USA) Presenter: Rob Harmon

While traveling anyone can feel like a fish-out-of-water and that goes especially so for Hassan (Ayad Akhtar), a recently-radicalized Muslim from Pakistan, who arrives in America—the Land of Consumption—and unexpectedly appears on the doorstep of his childhood friend, Sayeed (Firdous Bamji), now living in New Jersey.  Unbeknownst to Sayeed and his family, Hassan harbors a terrifying secret: he is there, not for a job interview but as a suicide bomber.  His target: Grand Central Terminal!  But, as his terrorist compatriots go down, one-by-one, will this stranger-in-a-strange-land still be able to carry out his unthinkable mission?  This provocative indie hit was directed by Joseph Castelo and also starred Nandana Sen and Sarita Choudhury.

• August 26: THE OTHER SON (2012, France) Presenter: Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic

A fascinating movie about the meaning of identity, The Other Son is a French drama about two young men—one a Palestinian and the other Israeli—who were accidentally switched at birth. When this truth is revealed, how do the families cope with the news?

* Quote from Rodney King during the 1992 Los Angeles riotsUPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE  EVENTS:

• Wednesday, July 24. SOLO INDIE ARTISTS: SAMUEL BASS, KEVIN MF KING

• Thursday, July 25. AVANT-GARDE: FUCHSPRELLEN, COLORGUARD

• Monday, July 29. FILM SCREENING: “ARRANGED”

• Wednesday, July 31. INDIE POP/PSYCH: M.T. BEARINGTON

• Thursday, Aug. 1. FREE IMPROVISATION/WORLD MUSIC: SUPER TRANCE

• Monday, Aug. 5. FILM SCREENING: “ONLY HUMAN”

• Wednesday, Aug. 7. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Thursday, Aug. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ILANA ZSIGMOND

• Monday, Aug. 12. FILM SCREENING: “CRASH”

• Wednesday, Aug. 15. GARAGE ROCK: THE ESTROGEN HIGHS

• Thursday, Aug. 15. JAZZ: THE NICK Di MARIA QUARTET

• Monday, Aug. 19. FILM SCREENING: “THE WAR WITHIN”

• Monday, Aug. 26. FILM SCREENING: “THE OTHER SON”

New film series to begin on July 22: “Can We All Get Along? Culture Clash in Great Films”

Following on the success of “What Would You Do? Ethical Dilemmas in Great Films,” Best Video and Temple Beth Sholom have teamed up again to present “Can We All Get Along?* Culture Clash in Great Films.” Unlike the first series, which unfolded in monthly screenings, “Can We All Get Along?” will present films every Monday evening from July 22 through August 26. Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic will be the presenter of the first film, ARRANGED, on Monday, July 22. Rabbi Scolnic will present and lead the discussions for three of the six films. Best Video staffers Rob Harmon and Michael Wheatley will split the presenting honors for the other three movies.

Reservations are strongly suggested. Many of the screenings in the original series were sold out. The cost is $25 for the entire series or $5 per film. All the events begin at 7 PM.

This is the schedule:

• July 22: ARRANGED (2007, USA) Presenter: Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic

This independent film made in 2007, centers on the relationship between an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim woman. Both are first time teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. They form an unlikely friendship that changes their lives. The film is in English.

• July 29: INTRUDER IN THE DUST (1949, USA) Presenter: Rob Harmon

In a small Mississippi town a proud black landowner is accused of shooting a white man in the back and brought to the town jail, where the lynch mob begins to gather.  Unrepentant about his actions Lucas Beauchamp’s (Juano Hernandez) only chance of survival may lie in the hands of two teenage boys and an elderly woman – seemingly the only people in town capable of seeing the situation clearly!  Ably adapted from the William Faulkner novel by Ben Maddow (The Asphalt Jungle, Men in War) and directed in a socially-conscious manner by Hollywood stalwart Clarence Brown (Flesh and the Devil, The Human Comedy, National Velvet, The Yearling).  The film also stars David Brian, Claude Jarman Jr., Elizabeth Patterson, Porter Hall, and Will Geer.

• August 5: ONLY HUMAN (2004, Spain) Presenter: Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic

In this madcap farce set in Madrid, a Jewish girl, Leni, bring home her boyfriend to meet her family. There is just one problem: She hasn’t told them Rafi is a Palestinian. In Spanish with English subtitles, the movie mines comedic gold from the culture clashes provoked by Leni’s interfaith relationship, a disappearing body and an amorous, belly-dancing sister.

• August 12: CRASH (2004, USA) Presenter: Michael Wheatley

Diving headlong into the diverse melting pot of post-9/11 LA, this compelling urban drama—and Oscar winner—tracks the volatile intersections of a multi-ethnic cast, examining fear and bigotry from multiple perspectives as characters careen in and out of one another’s lives. No one is safe in the battle zones of racial strife. And no one is immune to the simmering rage that sparks violence – and changes lives.

• August 19: THE WAR WITHIN (2005, USA) Presenter: Rob Harmon

While traveling anyone can feel like a fish-out-of-water and that goes especially so for Hassan (Ayad Akhtar), a recently-radicalized Muslim from Pakistan, who arrives in America—the Land of Consumption—and unexpectedly appears on the doorstep of his childhood friend, Sayeed (Firdous Bamji), now living in New Jersey.  Unbeknownst to Sayeed and his family, Hassan harbors a terrifying secret: he is there, not for a job interview but as a suicide bomber.  His target: Grand Central Terminal!  But, as his terrorist compatriots go down, one-by-one, will this stranger-in-a-strange-land still be able to carry out his unthinkable mission?  This provocative indie hit was directed by Joseph Castelo and also starred Nandana Sen and Sarita Choudhury.

• August 26: THE OTHER SON (2012, France) Presenter: Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic

A fascinating movie about the meaning of identity, The Other Son is a French drama about two young men—one a Palestinian and the other Israeli—who were accidentally switched at birth. When this truth is revealed, how do the families cope with the news?

* Quote from Rodney King during the 1992 Los Angeles riots

Hank’s Recommendations 02/05/13

hank_paperTWO GOOD FILMS ABOUT TOLERANCE

AGORA — Many customers (especially women) have recommended this film to me, and I’m passing the recommendation on to you.

“Agora” means a “gathering place” or “assembly,” and in fourth century Alexandria the typical assembly was more of a hotbed of contending religious forces: pagans, Jews and Christians, each vying to control a city that was only nominally run by a Roman garrison. Alexandria, by then, was famous for its ancient library that was widely considered a repository of world knowledge, as well as for one of its caretakers, a female astronomer and teacher, Hypatia, about whom little is known but her fame.

This film dramatically fills in the historic gaps. It begins didactically (with one of her open air classes) but then develops dramatic heft as it assays the lethal stew of intolerance among the three religious groups as each more and more aggressively comes to contend with the open enquiry of the scientific mind as symbolized and embodied by Hypatia, portrayed by Rachel Weisz. She is the sole woman in this film among pious wolves. Despite periodic academic starchiness, this visually spectacular movie nicely conflates the astronomical and historical in its portrait of the earth’s moral as well as physical place in the universe. And, of course, both tolerance and a respect for science is still something we can stand to be reminded of today.

ARRANGED — Two new grade school teachers—one Muslim, the other Jewish—become friends at a time in both their lives when their respective orthodox parents are arranging their marriages. The film is an affecting portrait of the mutual cross-cultural support that develops between the two instinctively independent women, beloved offspring caught in the vise of a tradition they otherwise feel a genuine part of.

Delicate, humorous and informative, this is a film about the challenges and opportunities of tolerance that offers a sanguine alternative to the hotbed of the intolerant marketplace.

Highly recommended.